5/16/08

What Happened?

This morning as I was leaving the little store down the road, a nice young gentleman held open the door for me. My guess is he was no older than 15 or 16 and he ever so willingly held the door open responded to my thank you with a "no problem ma'am" as I passed on by. Aside from my husband, I can not recall the last time this has happened.

This week has been a series of reflections on me of different times, different lives and different lifestyles. One thing I think we miss the most with our children are the lessons in etiquette and manners. It doesn't hurt a young man to hold a door open for a lady nor does it hurt a young lady to stand and wait for him to do that.

How many teen ladies simply run you over going through the door and how many times does anyone make them accountable for that? How many young men offer to hold the door open or when do we stand and wait for that either?

We are in such a hurry for destination or to beat the other guy to whatever deal we are seeking that we fail to realize each one of us can work towards discipline and mannerisms that makes this world a better place. I have noticed that many young men will open the door if I stop and wait in anticipation. Sometimes they seem surprised but often I see their expressions soften and their hurry turn into grace.

This leads me to wonder whether I personally contribute to the lack of manners. How many times do I hustle through a doorway, grabbing it and opening it hoping to not have to deal with anyone else? Instead, I could pause and wait for the gentleman to be a gentleman and I could demonstrate my lady mannerisms through acceptance and thankfulness.

Our world is becoming increasingly confusing and hurried. We all want to prove our independence and capabilities in surviving the changes. But, I don't think accepting or better yet, demanding manners from ladies and gentlemen will weaken those capabilities or negatively effect our survival.

My weekend project - stop at the door - see who opens it. When they do, thank them profusely and mean it!

1 comment:

TRT said...

It is so nice to hear of an encounter such as this one. This brings to mind a phrase once given to me in years past. “Always entertain strangers in a kind manor, as one never knows… you may be entertaining a heavenly host (Angel).”

Somewhere in my early twenties I encountered the opposite of the experience you are sharing here. I was the one opening the door for a Lady and was politely told “I am perfectly capable of opening my own door thank you.”

The main difference between these two encounters? The era in which they occurred is totally different as night and day. Each would have fit the era better if they had occurred in the respective time frame.

In any case it is truly refreshing to have an encounter such as yours Robbi, especially in the world we live in today. Small acts of kindness such as this, can really have a big impact on the receiver.

Lord God, please help each of us treat strangers as though each one is a Heavenly Host.